The reality Behind Technology

Almost every night I lay in bed around 9:00 o’clock but I end up staying up later on my phone, computer,ipod, or tv. The next day when I wake up I would be really tired, crabby, and just wouldn’t want to be around people.

I use to think that it was just because I didn’t want to wake up at 6:00 o’clock and go to school. This article I stumbled across taught me how phones can cause depression and it got me thinking; maybe the reason I’m tired and crabby in the morning is because of the electronics I use at night. I looked into this more and found that blue light, the light given off by electronics can cause loss of sleep, depression, and sleep disorders. At certain ages, blue light can mess with the circadian rhythms, the genetic and physical process that adhere to the sequence of the twenty four hour inner timing; also can be called the sleep cycle. When the sleep cycle is fixed with it can lead to many other things happening to the body.

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Why should we be worried about blue light? Blue light is the light emitted off of electronics. The Chicago Tribune wrote that the American Medical association said this was the same light that is found in fluorescent light bulbs. Researchers say blue light is from many of the electronics that people use today. When this light gets into our eyes at night it can disarray our melanopsin. Steven Lockley a neuroscientist at Brigham and women’s hospital says that we have this switch in our eye called the melanopsin. The melanopsin tells us when we’re tired and it lets us know when we need to be awake.

It is like a switch because when we are in the dark, as if we are going to go to sleep, it switches on telling the body it is time to go to bed. When the light hits the eye, for example, during the day, it switches off helping the body stay alert and focused. When we shut off the lights to go to sleep the melanopsin turns on telling us to go to bed but when the light from the electronics we are using shines into the eye the melanopsin turns off trying to keep us up. This then makes us stay up and our sleep cycle gets pushed back. When our sleep cycle gets pushed back the internal clock remembers that time and that will start to be the time the body will start to get tired and want to go to bed. Say this time is 11:00 o’clock, and we wake up at 6:00 o’clock for school.

We are not even getting our full eight hours of sleep. The time we wake up is remembered too; we are getting less hours of sleep. The effects of this is different for everyone. Staying up late on electronics can cause many different things for example; mood swings from lack of sleep, anxiety, sleep disorders and depression. Depression is the one that tends to leave people stumped.

Someone may think how can a phone or any other electronic device cause depression? The blue light from the electronic device that is being used can cause the brain to go into a depressive state. Dr. Peter G Polos says that these activities are not sleep-promoting like reading a novel or listening to music. They stimulate the brain and depress normal sleep cycles. Another thing is the lack of sleep from staying up can cause depression or help lead up to it.

This is hard to prove though because the depression can cause the lack of sleep. Sleep disorders are another thing that staying up late on electronics can lead to. Insomnia is one example of a sleep disorder researchers have found in kids who stay up late on electronics. Insomnia is the inability to sleep. I think that someone with insomnia might stay up on electronics because they already have trouble falling asleep, this could cause even worse problems or their insomnia could get worse. Grades seventh through tenth are usually more prone to the sleep loss than grades eleventh or older because the younger kids haven’t or are going through puberty.

After puberty or when kids enter the older grades they start to stay up later so they are use to the amount of sleep they get. Dr. Peter G Polos from the sleep disorders center at JFK medical center in Edison N.J took forty girls and boys around the age of fourteen to see how the blue light would affect them. He said that the girls were more “text happy” while the guys were into their gaming systems. Polos found that there was an average of 34 texts sent after they were suppose to be sleeping and that a kid was awaken at least once a night from a text.

This averages out to be a total of 3,400 texts that happened after they were suppose to be sleeping per month. This is how loss of sleep can kick in. The sleep disorders and depression come in a different way. Kids who stay up late on electronics or studying for a big test the next day are found to not do as well as someone who went to bed early. The UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) took 535 students through grades ninth, tenth, and twelfth.

These kids stayed up late in the night studying for tests, doing homework, and trying to understand the material better. The kids realized they were having trouble understanding material being taught in class and they weren’t doing well on test, quizzes, and homework assignments. They may also so things that they don’t realize are going to hurt them like engaging in risky or unhealthy acts like smoking or doing other drugs. I am not saying that all teens should go to bed around eight o’clock because I know that they never would. The answer to doing well on tests, homework, quizzes, having a lower chance in getting depression, sleep disorders, is getting the sleep needed to complete a day isn’t to stay up late and study study study.

Its going to bed and getting a full eight hours of sleep. I know it is hard to get the eight hours of sleep needed each night in a busy teens life because I am one myself; with sports, school, family, and just trying to find time for myself to sit and relax there isn’t enough time in the day. Try to get what things can be done in the day so there is time in the night to sleep. Take a study hall to help get homework done or if that isn’t an option then get what needs to be done done whenever there is a chance. This way there might be a hour or so where there will be time to check those emails, facebooks, play video games, or send a text to that cute crush. I recommend putting away the phones, shutting off the tv, plugging in the tablets, and just sleep.

The body will feel great when it has its full eight hours of sleep and it doesn’t have a bright light shining in its face messing its sleep cycle up.